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Posts: 1
My 15-year-old Shih-tzu was my best friend, the sweetest and most gentle dog. Smart and loving. He never bit anyone, never harmed anyone, rarely barked, never had accidents. I loved him so much. My whole life revolved around him, my work schedule, my social life, my vacations, everything. He was very well cared for and very much loved. Then he started coughing and after a visit to the vet I learned he had a severe heart murmur and was in congestive heart failure with a collapsing trachea. I had him on meds for a year and a half, then he suddenly began coughing chronically. He was losing his kidney function and having accidents, he was having trouble holding himself up - his legs were wobbly. Every waking moment he was coughing - arched over and struggling to stop. I tried everything, CBD oil, alternative cough drops in his water, cough drops from the doctor, soft foods, and all in addition to his regular heart medication. He was still eating and wagging his tail on occasion, but I knew he was miserable and I knew it was time to put him down. I made two separate appointments to euthanize him and I just couldn't go through with it. I called the doctor one Saturday and explained what was going on and the doctor said that as long as he was still eating and wagging his tail, that it probably wasn't time. I listened to the doctor and I shouldn't have. I started drinking beer that night, I was so stressed. The next Sunday morning, I drank some more and I was a little buzzed, standing in the kitchen and my little dog walked in and stood and gave me that look like "what's for dinner?" and he looked fine. Then suddenly he started coughing and coughing and he couldn't catch his breath, then he fell over and seemed to be gagging, and I didn't know what to do, I didn't know what was happening and I sat that with him and tried to hold him still so he wouldn't hurt himself and he kept gagging and trying to breath and I was yelling and freaking out. He was kicking his legs and flailing and rolling around and then I heard his heart stop. He died right there, and it seemed to take forever. Because I was a little buzzed, I can't recall how long it took, but it seemed like forever. He suffocated, his trachea collapsed. He died a horrible, painful, miserable death and it's all my fault. I hate myself for being buzzed, and wonder if I would have done anything different to save him if I'd been sober. I'm horrified. I killed him through my lack of action. I will never forgive myself. It's been over a month and I'm still a wreck, I can't get the memory out of my head. I'm so devastated. 

Posts: 10
I'm really really sorry for your loss and for what you had gone really was an awful thing to experience. But please, don't blame yourself like this. You did everything you could, and there is no right way to act, just the way you think is the best and the ones that you can manage. How could you have known about him collapsing that day? I think even if you were sober, it would have been the same end result. Maybe even if you called a vet or you went fast, he would not have made it. Even if it was not the most pleasant way to go, he was there with you, you held him and tried your best. As I said in others responses, my dog got a heat stroke and I didn't know what to do, my dad was panicking so no help from him, and so the vets closed and I had to try and keep my Tom alive for hours, to make his fever go down until the vets opened. I felt horrible about it, but when I thought about calmly I realized that the end result was gonna be the same. He would have ended up weak and get worse until we had to made the decision to let him go. Maybe he would have live one more month or two bit that was it. The only thing I could have prevented was that extra pain of his fever, but I know that he didn't suffer the amound he could have, since I was there. Another example is my grandfather. He had a heart attack and my dad tried to do CPR on him with ir was his time abd norhibg helped. Please, take carne of yourself, taken it easy, cry and mourn him, but don't blame yourself. Your little baby wants you to be okay, and he knows you did your best, they know. Lots of love and I hope you are doing better.
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